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Breakfast like a king… goes the popular saying, but a recent study from the Research Centre at the Nirmala Niketan College in Mumbai has found that most of us are skipping this important meal.
"Skipping breakfast just to lose weight will not solve anything but definitely invite multiple problems such as anorexia nervosa, hair fall, memory loss and weak eyesight," says Dr Nupur Krishnan, clinical nutritionist.
The other dangers of missing this meal are listed by nutritionist Sonal Raval. “You can suffer from headaches, fatigue, obesity, nutritional shortcomings, drowsiness and a general decline in performance,” she says.
In spite of all these adverse effects, many people skip breakfast in the morning. Sulakshana Das, a teacher in a public school in Mumbai, says “Often children come to my class in the morning looking droopy eyed and tired. At this time, their concentration and energy levels are low. The primary reason is that many of them are rushing to school without eating a proper breakfast.” To counter this and make yourself a healthy promise you can participate in an initiative by Kellogg India called the ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast Pledge.’
If you’re pressed for time, fortified, ready-to-eat cereals can make for a great first meal. "Cereals are a very good breakfast option. They are convenient — pour some milk and there you are — require no cooking and don’t take time to prepare,” says Raval. “Just take care that you pick the right cereal. Per serving should have enough fibre, less sugar and you could go in for something with nuts. It’s very important to read labels,” she adds.
Krishnan, too, supports the consumption of cereals in the morning. “Choosing cereals should be a smart choice. It should not be fattening. Pick those that will provide balanced nutrition as well as energy. A fortified healthy breakfast can help meet nutritional requirements,” she says. “Smoothies, fruit and milk product, oats porridge with nuts or a fortified muesli porridge are good options as they are fast, and make for a tasty breakfast.” According to Raval, breakfast should be consumed within 10-30 minutes of waking up.
So at the beginning of this new year, take a pledge to have breakfast every morning.